A freshmen at Thomas County Central High School received the surprise of her life when she was selected for an interview and named a finalist for Lifetime’s newest reality pageant TV show, “Kim of Queens.” The episode aired on Jan. 14 on Lifetime and was filmed in Georgia.
Hope Nelson, 15, of Pavo, was registered to win a free makeover via e-mail by her mother, Robin Nelson, program assistant at Thomas County 4-H program.
Robin received an e-mail through 4-H, asking the organization to submit candidates that were suitable for a makeover.
The e-mail stated: “Are you the shy girl who wants more confidence, but needs someone to find your inner star? Do you have an amazing talent, but need some additional coaching? Have you been bullied or been the bully and want to learn how to treat people? Are you at home on the farm, but want to give the city girls a run for their money? Are you the athletic girl who wants to explore her feminine side? If so we want to hear from you.”
The mother considered the registration almost a joke, but soon the joke was on her when she was contacted by the Lifetime Network to set up an interview for selection.
Hope Nelson is the only girl in her family. She two older brothers and two male cousins.
Her mother said, “She has always been one of the boys. She shows stock horses and trains dogs and is always in boots, jeans and a ball cap. Since she was starting high school, I thought it would be nice to have some tips on being more girlie.”
After the interview — a few weeks later— Nelson was told she had been selected as a finalist.
Robin was shocked when the network informed her that Hope had been selected as a finalist.
She said, “I submitted Hope just for fun and not really thinking she would be selected.”
Hope was also in disbelief that someone would want to have a country girl from Pavo on a Lifetime television show. She is not the typical pageant contestant. Hope’s hobbies include showing livestock in 4-H and spending time with her youth group.
Robin recalled her daughter having to walk pigs the night the show aired.
She said, “Hope said she bet none of the other girls in the cast were walking pigs before watching themselves on TV.”
Robin and the Nelson family were excited to see Hope on television, especially on the commercials before the show was aired.
Robin said, “Being on TV is not something we ever thought much about, so it is a very strange feeling when it happened. It was also nerve-racking watching the show for the first time with the rest of the world.”
Hope enjoyed the TV opportunity.
“It is exciting. Parts were a little embarrassing but, overall, it was an amazing experience,” she said.
Near the beginning of the school year, filming began. The Nelsons were not given a lot of details prior to filming, but learned much about the pageant world.
Hope was named a princess on the show and won “Best Hair.”
She said, “It wasn’t about winning, but about having the experience and stepping out of her comfort zone to try something she had never thought she would do.”
Since the filming of the show, Hope has done one local rodeo pageant at JustAmere Farms where she was crowned JustAmere Rodeo Queen.
“This pageant is less about beauty and more about you knowledge of the horse industry and your ability to ride,” she said.
To enter this pageant, Hope submitted a photo, an essay and was interviewed about the horse industry. The contestants were asked to complete a horsemanship pattern and run a barrel pattern.
Hope enjoys public speaking and sharing her passion for horses with others.
She said, “I am considering doing a local pageant and trying to apply the things that Miss Kim taught me while I was with her.”
Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.